The Design and Decision Support Systems research program is managed by the unit Urban Systems and Real Estate (USRE). The unit deals with research in the field of planning, development and management of cities, mobility, housing and large-scale urban artefacts, for example shopping malls, urban green spaces and offices.

Design and planning problems in architecture and urban planning have become increasingly complex in recent years. Numerous policy documents have asserted that the quest for more integrated solutions needs to be assessed from multiple perspectives. Existing models and tools often fail to meet such requirements. The aim of the DDSS research programme is therefore to develop groundbreaking design and decision-support systems that focus on particular types of design and planning problems in architecture and urban planning.

The mission of the research programme is threefold:
 -   Develop groundbreaking, innovative models and design and decision-support systems for specific applications in architecture and urban planning.
 -   Disseminate such progress to practice.
 -   Develop specialized knowledge about user responses to changes in their environment that can be applied to issues currently important to society such as energy use, mobility, information technology, safety, climate change and sustainable urban development.

The main objective of the DDSS research programme is to conduct research that is academically rigorous and of practical relevance. Innovative, fundamental results are submitted for publication to journals with the most critical reviewing standards, and are elaborated in externally funded projects to assess their applied relevance and to foster valorization.